TCU football coach Gary Patterson said the Horned Frogs will be “hurting most” on special teams while receiver/kick returner KaVonte Turpin is sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury.
But he expressed optimism Tuesday that two other players shaken up in last week’s 41-20 victory over Iowa State, defensive end Josh Carraway and cornerback Jeff Gladney, could return to action in Friday’s game at SMU (7 p.m., ESPN).
“Hopefully, they’ll be able to play by Friday,” Patterson said during Tuesday’s news conference. He indicated that Carraway could return as early as Tuesday’s practice.
But Turpin, who ranks second among Big 12 players in all-purpose yards (169.3 per game), will not play for an undetermined amount of time, placing a need for TCU to find alternatives in the return game that likely will include Deante Gray and Desmon White.
“Where we’re hurting most is in the special teams end of it, finding the next put and kickoff returner,” Patterson said. “It’s always hard to lose a guy that always makes the first guy miss. That’s a different animal.”
In terms of filling the void Turpin leaves in the receiver rotation, Patterson expressed hope that freshman Isaiah Graham might play this week. But the Frogs (2-1) will be without kicker Jonathan Song, who won the job during spring drills, for one more game.
Patterson said Song, injured during fall camp, has been making 40-yard kicks in practice and he is hopeful he can return for the team’s Oct. 1 game against No. 25 Oklahoma (1-2).
“Hopefully, by next week, we’ll be getting him back and see how he fits in,” Patterson said.